Hong Kong Airlines to axe HK-London 'all business class' flights

By David Flynn, August 8 2012

Hong Kong Airlines has confirmed the closure next month of its daily 'all business class' service between Hong Kong and London’s Gatwick Airport.

"The last flight from London to Hong Kong will be on September 10," Hong Kong Airlines General Manager Albert Chan told Dow Jones Newswires, signalling an end to the seven month old route which has been estimated at costing A$1.2 million per month to run.

Hong Kong Airlines launched the daily shuttle in March this year, using three new Airbus A330-200s with just 116 business class seats split across 34 lie-flat Club Premier ‘suites’ and 82 Club Classic recliners. (By way of comparison, Qantas' international versions of the same aircraft pack some 253 seats across both business and economy class.)

Hong Kong Airlines will make the all-business class A330s availablke for high-end charter flights rather than deploy them onto existing or new routes within Asia.

Rumours of cut-backs to the Hong Kong - London Gatwick service have been swirling for months, with reports of consistently low passenger numbers.

Earlier this week, listings provided by the airline to the global distribution system (GDS) used by travel agents indicated cancellation of the route was imminent.

The move follows a decision by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department to halt the expanson of Hong Kong Airlines following complaints about its service standards, according to Reuters.

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

AusFlyer

AusFlyer

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

Now there's a surprise....

dmount

dmount

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jan 2013

Total posts 1

Flew x 2 on this service and a v welcome UK addition it was for someone in Oz. pity that it didn't have support/time to keep going- a much preferable way of getting from HK to UK, costs competitive with some economy flights BUT prob not recognised brand/name. The service/ style in plane was abit odd and seats were on the premium economy side of business, but you arrived in a lot better shape than economy, slleep was possible and it was a possibility when flying mobhanded with family to go  without raidibng the kids piggybank. A big shame it didn;t succeed and really i think not becase it was wrong but prob poor advertising, wrong airline and you have to take a year + of pain/ cost and get people used to it. Hope someone else has the gumption to try it again

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2322

Hi Dave, and thanks for sharing your thoughts on that flight! Advertising and awareness does seem to have been an issue here - from what I'm told, there almost wasn't any, at least not at the London end. I definitely would like to see somebody try this approach and really go all the way with their marketing efforts, but I fear that HKA's lack of success will cruel the idea's appeal for other airlines :(


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